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A Guide to Choosing the Finest Placemats and Runners

Looking at the same table all the time can eventually become monotonous. But, of course, changing your table often to break the monotony isn’t the answer. Considering a few varieties of placemats and runners for your table, though, could be a great option!


Not just a functional protective barrier, a placemat/table mat or a table runner can also enhance the visual appeal of your otherwise conventional table. It’s an easy way to refresh your interiors subtly whenever you like. So, impress your guests and immerse yourself in the flexibility they offer!


Before we delve into the many wonders they can literally ‘bring to the table,’ let’s look at what exactly placemats and runners are.

What are Placemats and Table Runners?


A placemat (also referred to as a table mat) is a designated covering pad meant to protect an area of your dining table. Unlike a complete spread like a tablecloth, placemats don’t take up the entire surface, covering the exclusive features of your dining table. On the other hand, table runners are long strips of cloth running from one side of the table to the other, lengthwise through the middle. 


Here’s the comparison a little further in detail:


Covers a designated area of your table Cover a lengthwise strip of your table from one side to the other
Can be used on a daily basis Typically used on special occasions or for more elaborate settings
Give a sense of individuality to guests Give a sense of ‘uniting’ people across the table as they visually connect the sides


In addition to protecting the table and creating an aesthetic that complements its finest features, placemats, and table runners can also be used together. Match your placemats and runners in complementary colors or pair them with the color of your centerpiece to bring out the aesthetic features of your dining table.


Placemats don’t just serve as a protective barrier between hot and stained dishes and your table, but can also turn into statement pieces that visually uplift your space. Explore a unique selection of placemats at 2XL Home. Whether you’re looking for a pop of color, decorative mats to elevate the grandeur of your dining table or minimal yet elegant mats, our collection is sure to amaze you.


You can do wonders for your dining table considering your placemats’ size, shape, and design. These little gestures can whip up the magic you desire - with ultra-convenience!

The Ideal Size of Placemats


Though you can choose placemats in various designs, shapes, and sizes, the optimal width is 12 inches. For smaller tables, a mat of 12 inches width and 16 inches height can be a good option.


Here’s a guide to help you out with the usual shapes and sizes of placemats:


Rectangle 14″ x 18″

13″ x 13″

8″ x 8″

9″ x 9″

Sphere 15″
Oval 13″ x 19″

The Materials Used

The ideal material for your placemat depends primarily on the size of your table and the formality of the occasion. However, don’t overlook quality in your excitement of starting with placemats! The following points should guide you in selecting the suitable material: 


Placemats are made with either:

Natural Fabrics or
Synthetic Fabrics


Natural fabrics are preferable for their bare minimum chemical composition. They’re easy to sustain and clean. Linen, cotton, jute, or hemp are a few examples. They are also aesthetically pleasing but do not last as long as synthetic fabrics and are often expensive. You can browse through various options in both kinds of materials available at 2XL Home. We have bright and neutral-colored placemats in cotton, linen, viscose, jute, lace, polyester, and blends that give you the sustainability and visual appeal of natural fabrics with the durability and longevity of synthetics.

Different Designs and Colors

The occasion is the primary factor to consider when choosing a placement’s design and color. For daily use, pick colors that complement your interiors. You can opt for fresh, zesty colors like yellows and greens or earthy tones like light brown and coffee. Colors that remind you of food are the safest bet! Everyday use also calls for designs that are minimal and fuss-free. If you’re thinking of teaming up your placemats with runners, keep the tones similar/complementary.

For formal occasions, you can opt for a more decorative collection. Try lace, intricate cuts, designs, and colors with a shine like ivory and pearl, or neutral shades like cream.

Frequently Asked Questions about Placemats and Runners

How do you use table runners?


A table runner covers a strip of your table from one side to the other lengthwise. Usually used for formal occasions or elaborate settings, it can restrict seating arrangements and link placemats, or the sides of your table, for a unified look. Although it is traditionally placed lengthwise, you can also use your runners across your table to bring focus to centerpieces. In addition to enhancing the aesthetic value of your dining space, table runners give a uniform and balanced look.


Can table runners be shorter than tables?


Traditionally, a table runner should hang about six inches over the ends of your table, but it’s entirely up to you. You can go for one that’s shorter or one that just fits. Shorter table runners add contrast for everyday dining and show off your table. If a runner includes tassels, the tassels should ideally dangle over the edge rather than rest on top. For a seamless look, use a runner the same length as the tablecloth.


Is it OK for placemats to overlap?


A placemat’s intended function is to enclose a single place setting, so it’s better to ensure that it does not encroach on the space of a neighboring environment.